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(LEAD) Moon to meet political party leaders over lunch before new parliament opens

Politics 11:00 May 28, 2020

(ATTN: UPDATES with details)

SEOUL, May 28 (Yonhap) -- President Moon Jae-in will meet the floor leaders of South Korea's two largest political parties over lunch at Cheong Wa Dae on Thursday, a couple of days before the country's newly elected lawmakers begin their four-year terms, according to his aides.

Moon plans to host the meeting with Kim Tae-nyeon of the ruling Democratic Party and Joo Ho-young of the main opposition United Future Party at the Sangchunjae guesthouse inside the presidential compound in Seoul.

Presidential Chief of Staff Noh Young-min will join it, an official told reporters.

"There would be candid dialogue and communication," he said on the condition of anonymity.

They will exchange greetings briefly in front of pool reporters and camera crew, but there's no plan for formal opening remarks, he added.

After about an hour luncheon, the four are scheduled to take a brief stroll together near the wooden "hanok" structure.

The president is expected to request cooperation in efforts to ride out the COVID-19 crisis and resolve other pending issues, according to his aides.

The floor leaders will likely make their own statements on the results of the session, and Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Kang Min-seok will also hold a separate briefing.

It would be Moon's first Cheong Wa Dae meeting with the floor leaders of the parties in 1 1/2 years. The previous one took place Nov. 5, 2018, joined by then floor leaders of three smaller opposition parties.

This time, only the two parties eligible to form a floor negotiating group, which requires at least 20 seats, have been invited.

Kang Gi-jung, senior presidential secretary for political affairs, earlier announced that the meeting is in line with a push for the "systemization of cooperative politics."

The president, meanwhile, plans to deliver a speech at the parliament early next month on the occasion of its opening.

This file photo shows President Moon Jae-in (Yonhap)

This file photo shows President Moon Jae-in (Yonhap)


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